Influencer marketing has become the top go-to strategy for leading brands to supercharge their Black Friday and Cyber Monday (BFCM) promotions.
For the last two years, many consumers have shifted to online shopping due to Covid safety concerns. To make maximum use of this shift, brands have adopted influencer marketing techniques to reach shoppers with their holiday offers. Influencers create authentic content and build trust, which helps brands to stand out in the crowd during the holiday season.
Walmart, Mysa, Amazon, Microbe Formulas, Timberland, The Body Shop, etc., are some brands that use influencers to attract and engage customers on the biggest shopping days of the year. To do so, they prepare strategies months in advance to create a sense of urgency in the consumers and keep them excited about the offer.
Besides shopping influencers, brands collaborate with existing customers, niche content creators, and micro influencers to create social proof and use social media in-app tools to boost conversions.
Since 74% of shoppers plan to shop online to avoid crowds this year, you should have already begun your influencer marketing preparations by now. But if not, it’s still not too late. We have rounded up 5 best Black Friday and Cyber Monday influencer marketing tips to make your campaign successful! You will also learn 5 practical campaign ideas that you can use this year!
Let’s dive in!
Although many marketers now look for last-minute strategies to pull off successful campaigns close to the holiday season, it is never a good idea. Studies show that 38% of consumers plan to stock gifts in October, so you must be one step ahead and prepare your marketing campaigns at least two months before the holiday season starts.
Take inspiration from Bath and Body Works, an American retail chain selling personal care products that starts its influencer campaigns way before the date. The influencers and creators they partner with begin posting about their favorite products to create consumer awareness and start conversations about the brand.
For this year’s Black Friday and Cyber Monday influencer marketing agenda, collaborate with creators before the shopping season to start a positive buzz about your products instead of during the sale. Influencers have the power to direct conversations due to their daily interactions with followers, making your brand the most talked about before the holiday season and encouraging the audience to try out your products. This way, when the holiday season arrives, a large portion of your target audience will already have you on their shopping list!
Check out our detailed guide on the Holiday shopping season to learn why you should start campaigns early this year.
The beauty of Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales is that almost every type of buyer is looking to buy their favorite products at discounts, allowing you to engage new customers and re-engage previously acquired customers like seasonal shoppers.
Seasonal shoppers are one-time buyers who might have purchased a product from you around festivals, holidays, or occasions like sports events and national days. Since these consumers have already tried your product, you can re-engage them to boost your sales on your Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals.
To rope back in your seasonal shoppers, you need social proof. Influencer generated content is an excellent source of social proof for your customers as they see ‘real’ or familiar people using your products. Ask your influencers to share reviews, images, and posts about your BFCM deals, and then repurpose their content to flesh out emails, advertisements, or social media posts for your business page. It can include ratings, reviews, number of products sold, happy faces of customers using the product, sale event invites, brand stories, ‘recommended for you’ shopping lists, special announcements, etc.
Shopping influencers are the obvious choice during the Black Friday and Cyber Monday sale season. Content pieces like shopping vlogs, live-streaming shopping events, shopping haul, etc., are a hit on Instagram, YouTube, and TikTok and bring in loads of engagement.
However, as Jasmine Enberg, senior analyst on emarketer, says in an interview with Campaign US that “Marketers can increasingly expect social media influencers to adopt a surge pricing model ahead of the holiday shopping season and other high volume periods,” which means you might have to spend more to collaborate with the shopping content creators for Black Friday and Cyber Monday influencer marketing.
Fortunately, they’re not your only option.
High-engagement social media influencers like gamers, pets, sustainability supporters, mom bloggers, B2B creators, niche micro influencers, and more are a great alternative for you to create some interesting seasonal holiday content like the brand MyProtein. MyProtein is an online sports clothing and supplement store that partners with comedians, pet parents, athletes, gym-goers, healthy food bloggers, and Instagram stars to advertise their Black Friday sale and simultaneously share their brand message.
So, if you want to promote environmentally friendly products, go for sustainability influencers to create content like top eco-friendly retail stores, sustainable shopping haul, environmentally friendly or recyclable gifts for your family, and more.
Similarly, go for micro influencers to tease your upcoming holiday sales like Altar’d State, a US-based boho style women clothing brand. The company partnered with Michelle Zavodny (@itsmemeach) to promote their several-week long holiday campaign. The micro influencers don’t have high follower counts but can boost excitement and engagement in your customers due to their authentic follower-connections.
Or, if you have a retail store with a pet-friendly policy, partner with pet influencers to spread awareness and encourage pet parents to enjoy shopping trips with their furry friends.
Black Friday and Cyber Monday influencer marketing isn’t limited to D2C or eCommerce companies. B2B businesses are equally part of the holiday cheer and can advertise their products and services to clients and prospects during the shopping season.
To get a word out about your deals, you can go for B2b content creators on LinkedIn and Twitter, including freelancers, thought leaders, marketers, business owners, etc. The B2b influencers are qualified professionals who know how to connect with your B2B audience.
Read more: Is B2B Influencer Marketing A Good Idea?
Picking influencers is key to a successful campaign, so ensure you partner with the right ones.
affable.ai is an influencer management platform offering advanced features to help brands and agencies find talented creators based on audience insights, fake follower percentage, engagement rate, and more. The platform also enables you to manage and measure end-to-end campaigns from a single dashboard.
Influencers are good for building trust and authenticity, but according to most marketers, brand advocates like ambassadors, employees, and loyal customers are even better.
Brand advocates are brand loyalists who love your product and talk about it with their peers and family on social media or in person. They actively boost your word-of-mouth marketing for free by talking about your brand every chance they get. The audience of brand advocates is closely connected to them as they might be colleagues, friends, relatives, or more. They are familiar with your brand and trust the recommendations from someone they know.
Working with these brand advocates to promote your most attractive Black Friday deals will tempt their audience to trust and buy your product. Starbucks #RedCupContest holiday campaign user-generated content (UGC) is a great example for this. Starbucks encourages their customers to share images of how they celebrate holidays using their holiday-themed red cup, which in turn creates millions of shares.
Ask your existing customers, employees, etc. to share holiday-themed content including, reviews, ratings, behind the scenes, product reviews, etc. Now, use their content as social proof to attract more target audience. You can compensate them with rewards or free products to advertise your brand.
Social media is used more by its users for shopping than entertainment. Instagram, TikTok, Facebook, and YouTube have become popular go-to apps for the younger generation looking for new products, brands, or fresh deals.
Learn more: Is TikTok a New Tool to Discover Products?
Due to the rising number of eCommerce businesses on social media apps, TikTok, YouTube and Instagram have introduced new features like Instagram maps, swipe-up linking, TikTok shop, etc. to support a smoother shopping experience and help businesses become more visible on these platforms. In addition, YouTube has launched its shopping app in partnership with Shopify to enhance the user shopping experience.
Black Friday and Cyber Monday are great opportunities for you to use these social media tools to your advantage and allow your consumers to make quick purchases. Ask your influencers to create customized content by adding swipe-up links, branded hashtags and keywords, geotag locations, and bio links. For example, Walmart uses #DealsForDays, their branded hashtag, to promote its shopping season sales every year.
BFCM marketing tip: Using specific branded hashtags and keywords in influencer content will help you boost your brand's visibility and discoverability on search engines.
Every business is different, and every deal is different, which means you can create your content strategies based on your goals and offers.
For example, go for promotion-based content if your goal is to acquire more leads and customers this Black Friday and Cyber Monday shopping season. Or, if you want to build long-term trust and turn your season shoppers into year-round customers, you can choose to create informational content.
Here are some of the influencer campaign types that you can pick:
Promotional content is when influencers talk about your product directly and push out your offers to their followers before or during the seasonal sale. For example, product giveaway is a popular promotional content strategy used by many brands like The Body Shop, 2Game, and more.
Here are a few ideas to get you started:
Creating only promotional content may make your brand look unauthentic and salesy. Millennials and Gen Zers today don’t like to engage with brands that treat them like another number on the sales board. They incline more toward brands that see them as people and establish genuine relationships. To do this, you need to be constantly on your toes, looking for ways to create detailed content from which your customer can derive information.
The strategy is beneficial, especially during Black Friday and Cyber Monday, as the consumers are actively looking for products they can use in the future, gift, or buy at a discount. So you can ride on the hype of the holiday season and rope in those customers with some information-rich holiday content.
Informational content also makes your influencer content look more original and not like an advertisement. So, ask your influencers to create longer content-rich videos and posts and include a review of your product in between.
Here are some ideas to help your get started:
The stories feature on Facebook and Instagram shows your stories to people who regularly interact with your content on the platforms. So they are an excellent way (better than reels) to connect with the brand loyalists who love to consume your content.
The brand loyalists are the people who use your products; follow you on socials, like, share, comment on your content, and open your emails. These customers are more likely to buy your products during the sale. Engaging your fans and loyal audience will help you gain more traffic and increase your chances of conversions during the Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales.
Tag your creators on your IG stories or share their content directly, encouraging your brand fans to check out influencer posts about you.
You can also include the following:
Tiktok is popular for its fun and entertaining challenges. From brands to content creators and new users, everyone likes to partake in challenges to boost their likes. For brands, holiday TikTok challenges can bring all the desired engagement without much effort.
To create your own holiday challenges, collaborate with TikTokers like shopping influencers, fashion bloggers, etc., and ask them to come up with interesting ideas.
The strategy will work if you start early, as the more people participate in the challenges, the more engagement you will get. By the time your sale goes live, you will have several interested buyers ready to make a purchase!
If your Black Friday and Cyber Monday influencer campaign is more long-term, then this strategy is perfect for you. Partner with professional bloggers like moms, fashion experts, and sustainability supporters to write seasonal blog(s) for you, and create a separate content page for it instead of adding it as a guest post to your website.
Link the static content page to your blogs, product, pricing, homepage, social channels, and more to amp up your backlinks and Google rankings. You can even ask the influencer to promote it on their socials to gain more traffic.
The page could be about gift guides, recipes, or other evergreen content that readers can keep coming back to.
Black Friday and Cyber Monday are the biggest shopping days of the year and a perfect opportunity for you to build authentic relationships with your customers through influencers. Because of shopping hype, your target audience is more active and ready to engage with exciting content. Provided, you should collaborate with influencers that have real connections with their audience and know how to convince them without spamming.
affable.ai is an influencer management platform that can help you find the perfect creators for your Black Friday and Cyber Monday influencer campaigns. The platform provides detailed insights into 6M+ creator profiles allowing you to decide which creator is best for your brand. Moreover, the analytics data provided by the platform will enable you to vet each creator based on their performance metrics like engagement rates, estimated media value, and more.
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